Amber Alert ends with couple in custody in South Dakota

Saskatchewan RCMP announced on Wednesday that two children who were the subjects of an Amber Alert are now safe, and the man wanted in connection with their disappearance is in custody.

Police in South Dakota arrested Benjamin Martin Moore and his common-law spouse in the community of Sturgis, more than 930 km away from their home in Eastend, Sask. Law enforcement and child welfare agencies from South Dakota and Saskatchewan are working together to return the children safely back to Canada.

“There was most definitely a collective sigh of relief amongst all agencies involved in bringing these two young children to safety,” Chief Superintendent Tyler Bates, Officer in Charge of the Saskatchewan RCMP’s South District, said in the press release. “Obviously, there is a long road ahead and a number of investigative avenues that need to be followed up on.”

Bates thanked their American law enforcement partners, including the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Meade County Sheriff’s Office, and all those they called in to assist. He also thanked Saskatchewan Ministry of Social Services, South Dakota Child Protection Services, the media and the public for working together to confirm the location of these two children and bring them home to Canada.

“We want to assure the public that this investigation remains a priority for the Saskatchewan RCMP,” Bates said.

RCMP received a tip at around 5 p.m. on Tuesday about Moore’s recent whereabouts.  That led to a second Amber Alert being issued, this time in the state of South Dakota at roughly 10:50 p.m. that night.

After about 90 minutes, the Meade County Sheriff’s Office announced that all four individuals had been spotted in Sturgis. The Saskatchewan RCMP continue to follow up on additional information, tips, and reports about incidents involving Moore. The DCI and DHS are also actively investigating the matter.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to contact their local RCMP Detachment or police service. Information can also be submitted anonymously by calling 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or online at www.saskcrimestoppers.com.

The RCMP are encouraging anyone who may have been a victim of Benjamin Moore to file a report with police. Bates said they take these matters very seriously and want to ensure that survivors feel supported.

The original Amber Alert was issued at around 7:20 p.m. on Monday asking the public to be on the lookout for a seven-year-old and an eight-year-old. Both were believed to be with their mother Leah Potts and 50-year-old Benjamin Martin Moore of Eastend, Saskatchewan.

On Tuesday, Saskatchewan RCMP investigators charged Moore with failing to report information to a registration center within seven days after a change of main or secondary residence. The report is mandatory under the Sex Offender Information Registration Act.

Investigators originally began searching for Moore on Aug. 2 as part of an unrelated investigation that does not involve children. However, Moore, his common-law spouse, and the two children left their home before being police could question him.

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